Possum In The Henhouse

by Kitchen Table, Illinois

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1.
1. THE LAST WOLVERINE IN MICHIGAN (G. McElwain/R. Stark) There she was on my front page Her name in letters one inch tall The shock nearly killed me at my age And here I thought I'd got 'em all "THE LAST WOLVERINE IN MICHIGAN IS ON THE LOOSE" I stood up so fast when I saw that, I spilled my orange juice I'd cleared those monsters out of Michigan back in my prime I figured I had one more in me even after all this time I licked my lips and greased my traps I sharpened my wolverine knife, filled my canteens, folded my maps then I set out to end her life The last wolverine in Michigan was now my prey A worthy foe! I felt as though I hadn't aged a day and I still knew the wilds of Michigan like my back yard Well, I hoped that I could take her, but I hoped she'd make it hard And that she did I tracked her over miles of frozen ground A bitter wind swirled rumors of her savage scent around She stripped my traps and licked 'em clean But I gained on her every night At last we met in a ravine I drew me up to my full height She turned around a little slow She looked at me with those dark eyes She laid herself down in the snow Then breathed her last and stole my prize The last wolverine in Michigan gave up the ghost She chose the place, I dug the grave and marked it with a post Oh, the ground was cold in Michigan, the sky was gray And the last wolverine in Michigan is in Michigan She’s in Michigan to stay
2.
2. KING OF THE COUNTY (R. Stark) You lit out of Nauvoo in a hurry And you made it up to Voree with your wife in tow And your cousin in your bed You thought that she would never know But when you rowed yourself across those muddy waters Did you see a host of angels hanging in the trees? Was it the angels or the golden lights That brought you to your knees? CHORUS: Hold on You got nothin’ left to lean on And there’s no earthly place to run to When they come knockin’ on your door the deal is done And you’re gonna have to answer They’re looking to have some fun And you’re the King of the County Well you laid down twenty dollar bills to make it legal And you laid down fifty more to make sure all of it was yours Could you hear your people singing Swinging through those courthouse doors? But it weren’t no question that the man had got your number Even in the days before you let it all get out of hand So you fortified that island So that you could make your stand CHORUS Well the law will hold you down if you should struggle And the law will block the road if you should try to flee And you will ferry every sinner across to the shores of Galilee CHORUS
3.
Marktown 03:26
3. MARKTOWN (G. McElwain) If you follow Dickey Road northwest from Michigan Avenue To 129th Street, what you'll find there if you do Is the single sweetest sight this pair of sore eyes ever saw The “Brigadoon of Industry” designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw You got Broad, Prospect, and Spring Streets Running northeast and southwest Just like Liberty and Park Street, built at Clayton Mark's request You got School Street, you got Lilac Street With Grove Street in between All parallel to Riley Road, all built in 1917 CHORUS: Marktown East Chicago, Indiana Come what may Marktown East Chicago, Indiana USA The Avenues are named for trees That's Oak and Spruce and Pine They run northwest/southeast three miles east of the state line So even though Mark only built two fifteenths of the town he planned Turns out two fifteenths was plenty Raise your voice, strike up the band! We love you... CHORUS
4.
4. MOON OVER NOWHERE (G. McElwain/R. Stark) Every Friday, I stare down the clock Try to keep it together ‘til I can get paid Top my tank off and touch up my lipstick Then I’m tearing like hell up the Lewiston Grade There’s no town in the place where I stop There’s no out of the way little honky-tonk bar There’s no diner or roadhouse or truckstop There’s no seedy motel you can rent by the hour CHORUS: There’s a moon over nowhere tonight Down a highway that nobody sees There’s a moon over nowhere tonight Shine down on my baby and me My man’s work moved up north in November So I said I’d be there by the middle of May But the job that I’ve got is in Pullman ‘Til we’re both in the black, that’s where I’ve got to stay So I bring every blanket I own And he drives down in his truck with some cold Oly beer And we drink to the distance between us And we count all the shooters and dream of next year CHORUS
5.
Lydia 02:35
5. LYDIA (G. McElwain/R. Stark) Learned how to read Sounding out all of Mama's tattoos Learned how to count Peeling off all her butterfly band-aids Learned my colors and shapes From each black eye and each rainbow bruise She didn't like me one bit But she taught me some things I could use Learned my times tables Crunching the numbers when she lifted weights I learned how to write cursive script Signing her name at the race track I learned eight county seats in three states So we'd make her court dates She didn't like me one bit But to me she was one of the greats Learned how to sew Stitching up her cuts after a fight Learned how to sing Her to sleep when the jukebox was busted Learned how to hold Down the fort when she stayed out all night She didn't like me one bit But in spite of herself Mama brought me up right
6.
6. MY BETTER HALF (G. McElwain) You caught my eye and so I let you have it You took my arm all I could do was laugh But then you broke my heart and kept the part you wanted but The joke's on you 'cause I’ve still got my better half You talked my ear off and you broke my spirit in two the way you roped me like a calf I may have donated that kidney for you baby but The joke's on you 'cause I’ve still got my better half I'm gonna make the most of what I'm left with Gonna put my foot down, gonna take a stand I’m gonna wink at other ladies if I want to I’m gonna learn to play piano with my hand Feel free to rest your head upon my shoulder My lung will want a half a pack a day It looks like you ended up with my appendix But it's all right, I didn’t need it anyway You really ought to get that bum knee looked at I kept the wheat all you got was the chaff And if you want a piece of me, well you can have it because The joke's on you and I’ve still got my better half The joke's on you and I’ve still got my better half
7.
All Aboard! 03:46
7. ALL ABOARD! (G. McElwain/R. Stark) CHORUS: When you hear that whistle blow All aboard! It's time to go A train knows where it's going A train can never lose its way A train can roll on through the night and get you there before the break of day A train runs on a train track A train track's made of two steel rails Those rails are held in place on wooden ties by spikes that work like giant nails CHORUS A train's pulled by an engine That engine used to run on steam But these days it's more likely pow'r'd by diesel fuel or electricity On board is the conductor Who punches tickets or takes fares The engineer's up front at the controls in those striped overalls he wears (The overall is a garment designed for hard work. It’s a single-piece trouser and apron combination that straps over the shoulder. They're called overalls ‘cause they're worn over top of everyday clothes to protect them from dirt, grease, and wear.) CHORUS If you go on a train trip in coach class you'll get your own seat But in a sleeper car you'll get a fold-down bed On long trips, that's a treat! On trains if you get hungry Or want to stretch your legs a while There's coffee in the lounge car In the dining car they serve full meals with style CHORUS On trains, look out the window To get a unique point of view: Embankments, fence lines, frontage roads, The backsides of each town that you pass through A train stops at a station Some folks get off, new folks get on And then it takes off down the line The whistle blows, next thing you know, it's gone CHORUS (On my father's train, there are many cars. If it were not so, would I have told you that you can get a ticket from St. Louis to Grand Rapids for $54?)
8.
Hold Me 02:30
8. HOLD ME (G. McElwain) Hold me when the sun gets low Hold me as that sun goes down Hold me as the darkness falls Hold me as the stars come out CHORUS: Hold me 'til the kingdom come Hold me 'til those trumpets blow Hold me tight With all your might Don't let me go Hold me when the clouds roll in Hold me when the thunder shakes Hold me when the rain beats down Hold me when the levee breaks CHORUS Hold me if you need a hand Hold me if you need an arm Hold me like your sword and shield Hold me like your good luck charm CHORUS

about

These songs were recorded live* on West 67th Street in Cleveland, Ohio on March 11 and 12, 2011.

*We overdubbed the piano, the claps, the tuba, Sam's spoken parts, the gents' "Marktown" sing-along, and the "All Aboard!"s.

credits

released June 9, 2011

Kitchen Table, Illinois is:
Gabe McElwain - acoustic and electric guitars, singing
Becky Stark - mandolin, acoustic guitar, singing

Joined on this recording by:
Sam Gmetro - drums, tuba, speaking, singing
John McElwain - bass guitar, singing
Danny O'Brien - banjo, acoustic guitar, piano, singing
Erin O'Brien - singing
Laura Simna - violin
Michael Ubaldi - speaking

Produced, Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by:
Michael Ubaldi

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Kitchen Table, Illinois Chicago, Illinois

Some of Kitchen Table, Illinois' favorite United States of America include Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, and Idaho.

Some of our favorite geographical features include freshwater islands, brownlands, steep grades, ravines, tunnels, and horizons.

Some of our favorite emotions include love, heartbreak, and anger.

We write songs about all of the above and more.
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